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Hermes was the messenger of Zeus. Iris was ascribed the same function; for Plato the two are the divine angeloi. By the 3rd cent. ad, angels played a large part in Judaism and Christianity, and they became important too for paganism as intermediaries (along with lesser gods and demons) of the true God, not just in Gnosticism and Neoplatonism but also in ‘mainstream’ belief: thus an oracle from Claros inscribed at Oenoanda (c.ad 200?) represents even Apollo as an angelic ‘small part’ of God.

Subjects: Religion.

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